Olympus Has Fallen: Fifteen Facts About The Action Genre

Olympus Has Fallen verifies a number of facts about the action genre.

1. Your hero cannot just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There must be something personal for your hero to fight for. The best action films give their hero personal stakes, a fall from grace, to allow him or her to triumphantly rise from the ashes. The opening sequence of Olympus Has Fallen establishes the relationships and the hero’s personal stakes beautifully.

2. Gerard Butler has been wasting his time doing anything other than smart-aleck action heroes. This is the genre in which he belongs. Whenever you watch a terrible Gerard Butler romcom, you wonder why this guy ever gets cast in anything. This is why.

3. Mike Banning is a terrific action hero name.

4. Your supporting characters absolutely must ham it up relentlessly. Nothing is more disheartening than watching actors attempt to bring unneeded gravitas to a bombastic action film. Chew the scenery beyond recognition! Keeping this in mind, I profusely thank Melissa Leo.

5. Watch out for the actor whose name you know if he shows up in a seemingly small role. He’s a traitor. He always is. It’s a twist that never surprises me, but here, thanks to the traitor’s performance, I enjoyed it immensely.

6. Kang is an even better action villain name.

7. An R rating is always better for action films. It allows your grizzled smart-aleck hero to curse out the villain, it allows your hero to shoot enemies in the head, and it generally creates a larger messier style of mayhem. If terrorists actually attacked the White House, best believe folks would swear and blood would soak the streets.

8. If you’re griping about plausibility in a film about North Koreans taking over the White House, to quote Mike Banning, “How about we play a game of Go Fuck Yourself? You go first.”

9. If you need an elderly voice of reason in your film, I only want to hear one voice: Morgan Freeman. In films like this, when Morgan Freeman walks on screen, you already know what his role is. It comforts you like a warm blanket.

10. Somehow, if an entire scene of dialogue can contain one character speaking their lines directly into their own armpit for no reason whatsoever, that choice should be made. Keeping this in mind, I profusely thank, once again, Melissa Leo.

11. Seriously, the bad guy’s name is Kang. How awesome is that?

12. Kids in danger are annoying roughly 95% of the time. Thus, if you can find a kid in casting that isn’t annoying, and you can resolve his storyline as early as possible, you’re golden. This film is golden.

13. If America is in jeopardy, I want as much shameless flag-waving as possible. Antoine Fuqua cranks up the flag-related imagery to 11 here, and it put a smile on my face throughout.

14. Somehow, if you can have a woman be dragged by her hair through the White House by a North Korean as she defiantly sob-screams The Pledge of Allegiance in protest, you obviously have to make that happen. Keeping that in mind, I profusely thank, once again, Melissa Leo.

15. Yes, Olympus Has Fallen is stupid. Action movies often are. They’re stupid and bombastic and xenophobic and violent and everything else people can accuse them of being. Yet with the right balance of character development, action mayhem, nefarious villains, hammy supporting roles, pithy one-liners, and quite possibly a dash of jingoistic patriotism, a stupid action movie can be smartly executed— and possibly the most fun you can find at the cineplex. Usually, they mess up. Olympus Has Fallen doesn’t. It delivers everything you want in an action film and then some. My date loved it, as did I. I’m going to buy it on Blu-Ray, pop it in on a dreary sick day, and find myself in a state of bliss time and time again. Down with Kang! Three cheers for Banning! Thanks to Melissa Leo!

~ by russellhainline on April 30, 2013.

2 Responses to “Olympus Has Fallen: Fifteen Facts About The Action Genre”

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